exterior paint color - what goes with a brown roof?

jrabbotJanuary 31, 2009


I don't see a separate forum for exterior work on homes so I am posting here. We have a reproduction salt box colonial house and are changing the color of it from a dark brown to something different. The decision is what color? We have a newer roof (7 Years) on our exisiting house which is Certainteed Weathered Wood. An addition (under const) off the back is the same (well it doesn't exactly match but it's okay).

Our decision is what color paints really go well with this brown roof? When finished, the house will have a very traditional appearance -windows on the front of the existing house will be traditional 5 double hungs (9 over 6) on the second floor and basically 4 double hungs (9 over 9) on the first floor and a center entrance door with pediment.

We have liked yellow for a long time. An antique yellow not the pastel-y or minty yellows. But we see so many new yellow houses (with white or cream trim) with a brown roof and to us there is something that is not right pairing the yellow with brown roof. Most homes (and especially traditional older homes) have a black or gray roof.

So we were thinking of Red as in an antique red, something with brown undertones and a definite creamy or tan trim. Again most red homes have a black or gray roof. (I guess we weren't thinking straight when we replaced our roof in 2001 - we needed it to match our current house and were going for an antique wood roof appearance.)

I've tried the paint web sites (BM) to try colors out but it is just not enough for us to base our decision on.

Any suggestions on what works well with a brown roof? We could always go with the classic antique white but there are so many of those houses.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks very much,


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I like the idea of red, but it typically is not a durable exterior color. I wouldn't want to live in "the RED house" either, but that's just me.
My very favorite Yellow that goes very well with a brown roof is an old Porter color called "Mellow Grain". You could do the Mellow Grain with an off-white trim and deep red door/shutters. Gosh I love that color.
Greens are also an option-something like BM Nantucket Gray.
And of course a ton of possibilities in tans/taupes, maybe with very dark green door/shutters.
Just a few off of the top of my head.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 9:39AM
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Thanks for the reply trk65. If we go with yellow we will paint the door red, and window trim, corner boards, and soffits will be painted a cream color. We do not have shutters (and actually don't want them either). The yellow that we are considering is BM's Chestertown Buff. Again, though I'm not sure it will look great with the brown roof. I can't find Mellow Grain on the Porter Paints site. I can't find the color charts at all - Porter or BM. (?)

Although the colors do go well, and not intending to offend anyone, there are soooooo many new houses that are tan and beige that we don't want another one.

The red is definitely bold and we hesitate about that. But the antique houses that are painted barn red with cream trim are just beautiful in my opinion. Then there is the brown roof question again. trk65, why don't you want to live in the red house. Just wondering the reasons.

Anyone else with thoughts on pairing color with brown roof and not going toward tan/beige.

Thanks for any and all answers!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 12:17PM
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The closest BM match to Mellow Grain would be Dunmore Cream if that helps you to visualize it.
Here is the reason that I wouls prefer to not live in the "Red House"-it may not apply to your environs. Our area is mostly new construction in subdivisions-most of the homes are no more than 10 years old, and our particular neighborhood didn't break ground until 2005. For resale it seems to be best to paint the home a color that blends well and fits in with the surrounding homes-the few homeowners who tried something different and then tried to sell ended up selling for less than they should have-in one case a home that the owner had painted a pretty potent blue color was listed for 6 months without an offer, then painted and relisted at a price $15k higher than the original price only to sell in less than a week.
I don't really do anything to the outside of my home without some consideration as to what it might do to my resale potential even though I have no plans to move. The last two homes we bought and sold had less curb appeal when we bought them than when we sold them-we were able to buy them cheaper and sell for more. The first house I ever bought was Pink-PINK. The agent didn't want me to see it but I forced her to show it to me-we stole it and the first thing we did was paint it a creamy yellow. The neighbors all thanked us.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 2:39PM
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Thanks trk65. I can apppreciate keeping resale value in mind. Our area has quite a mix of homes. Some 2 or 3 centuries old, some early to mid-century (the last) homes, some new homes. There are some antiques in our immediate neighborhood as well. So I know that we can do something different than the average and it shouldn't lose value because of it.

So, does anyone else have an opinion on what goes better with a brown roof? Antique red with cream trim? Or a yellow like BM Chestertown Buff with cream trim and red door?
Someone else must have an opinion on this. Any painting or color experts?

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 10:08AM
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jrabbot - I am in the process of trying to pick an exterior color as well and have a Weathered Roof (GAF/ELK instead of Certainteed). Would you mind sharing what color scheme you went with and the colors? We have a 1920's Dutch Colonial, so we're looking for a very classic/traditional yellow.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 5:10PM
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